C.W. Post to Meet West Chester For WD2 Title
|Jackie Sileo (seven assists) and
C.W. Post knocked off Le Moyne and will meet West Chester in the
Division II women's championship game Saturday in Louisville,
© Lee Weissman
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It'll be West Chester and C.W. Post battling it out for the women's lacrosse Division II national championship. Both were winners in their semifinal games on Thursday at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.
West Chester defeated Rollins College 19-10 in the opening game. C.W. Post knocked off Le Moyne 15-10. They'll play the title game on Saturday.
These two met for the championship back in 2008, which was won by West Chester 13-12. More recently, they met this season, which was also won by West Chester 18-15.
In looking ahead to Saturday the C.W. Post players say the loss earlier in the season will provide a great deal of incentive for this one.
"It fires me up to play them," said C.W. Post junior Abbie Ross. "It won't bother me to have lost to them in the regular season if we can come back and defeat them to win a national championship."
West Chester fell behind 1-0 in its game against Rollins when attack Sophie Townsend scored with less than two minutes gone in the game.
But then West Chester answered with the next four goals and would never trail again.
The first and fourth of those goals were scored by midfielder Erin Oczkowski. She would end up with five goals on the day and helped her team to a 7-3 advantage at the half.
In the second half Rollins' Townsend scored again to cut the West Chester lead to 7-4. Townsend led her team with three goals. But then West Chester scored the next four. And, after Rollins scored again, West Chester scored six unanswered and with 8:52 remaining led 17-5.
After that Rollins outscored West Chester 5-2 but was never a threat to come back and make it close.
"It kind of came down to composure," said West Chester head coach Ginny Martino. "It came down to hanging on to the ball. Our defense kept us in the game and then the offense woke up and turned it on."
Despite the loss the Rollins players say this was a fun experience.
"I wasn't having fun for a good portion of the game," said Rollins attack Sophie Townsend. "But overall it was fun. The fact we got this far is unbelievable."
Rollins wraps up its season with just two losses. They were 15-2 on the year. Their other loss came against Regis in Colorado.
In looking ahead to Saturday the West Chester players are trying to take a low key approach.
"It feels a little different," said midfielder Lauren Glassey. "It's a bigger game (than the regular season) but you try to treat it like a regular season game."
West Chester will take a record of 16-3 into Saturday's championship.
Post Takes Out Le Moyne
In the second semifinal, things looked good early for the Dolphins of Le Moyne. After falling behind 1-0 on a Nan Mayott goal (one of three goals on the day by Mayott) less than two minutes into the game Le Moyne responded with four goals to take a 4-1 lead and appear as if they may run away with this one.
Jennifer Fabian scored an unassisted goal with 23:20 remaining in the first half. That was followed by a Gabrielle Kamide goal which was assisted by Brenna Bauer. Brittany Brigandi then scored back-to-back goals and with 10:58 remaining in the half Le Moyne had a 4-1 lead.
"I felt going in we would win this game," said Le Moyne attack Kathleen Conese. "I think when we had that lead it was a reassurance that we would win."
"We didn't panic," said C.W. Post attack Jackie Sileo. "We know to keep our composure. We don't look at the scoreboard. We just play one possession at a time."
But C.W. Post re-grouped and stormed back. They scored five consecutive goals the remainder of the half to take a 6-4 lead at halftime. Lauren Spagnoletta, a senior midfielder, scored the first two goals. They were both unassisted. Abbie Ross scored the final three and on all three she was assisted by Sileo. Sileo finished the game with seven assists which ranks second all time in NCAA tournament history. The record is eight.
"I like getting assists more than I like scoring," said Sileo. "I just like to set other people up so they can score."
"I thought we were doing a good job with our possessions early," said Le Moyne head coach Beth Hewitt. "But they started creating a lot more havoc with their defense."
It's Le Moyne's defense that's been their strongsuit all season. They led the nation in allowing only 6.28 goals per game. But, as noted, C.W. Post had six goals at halftime.
The Pioneers then opened the second half with the first three goals to take a 9-4 lead.
Le Moyne cut it to 9-6 with goals from Kathleen Conese and Brenna Bauer. The second of those goals came with 19:29 remaining. But then C.W. Post scored five unanswered goals to go up 14-6 with 5:50 remaining and Le Moyne was never a threat from that point.
"We made a lot of stupid mistakes," said Le Moyne senior Brittany Brigandi. "And when we did they capitalized on those."
Despite the loss Brigandi says making it this far has been very rewarding.
"The experience to play here has been awesome."
"We knew what was at stake and what had to be done," said C.W. Post's Ross.
Le Moyne finishes the season with a record of 16-3. C.W. Post improves to 16-3.